Our Technology

It has long been known that relying on a vapor compression system to cool air down to the dew point in order to dehumidify is expensive to build and uses far too much energy to operate.  The ability to dehumidify independently of cooling provides substantial advantage, provided that it can be done using inexpensive materials, uses little energy to operate, and is easily packaged with a separate cooling system.

Osmotic Membrane Dehumidifier

An osmotic membrane dehumidifier has been developed that uses a flexible, semi-permeable membrane to facilitate capillary condensation of water vapor and the transport of condensed water through the membrane into a salt solution by osmosis.  Here a humid gas stream is brought into contact with a semi-permeable membrane, which separates the gas stream from an osmotic (e.g., salt) solution.  Some of the pores of the membrane are small enough to permit capillary condensation.  Liquid formed within these pores connects with liquid formed in adjacent pores, collectively forming continuous paths of liquid.  These ‘liquid bridges’ extend across the thickness of the semi-permeable membrane and provide paths by which water can travel across the membrane.  Because the membrane is so thin, water concentration gradients across the membrane can be large.  This can provide a large driving force for water transport between the humid air and the osmotic fluid.  The flexibility of the polymeric membrane allows for considerable design flexibility that enhances the potential for retrofit with any cooling system.